Sort file:- Canterbury, March, 2024.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 26 March, 2024.


Earliest 1860-

Tower Inn

Latest 1909+

14 Pound Lane


Tower Inn 1909

Above picture shows the Tower Inn on the left during the floods of 1909.

Tower Inn 1909

Above photo 1909, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Tower Inn 1927

Above postcard, December 1927, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Above photo, date unknown taken from the Historic Canterbury web site.

Tower 1955

Above photo, circa 1955, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Former Tower Inn 2009

Above picture from Google, March 2009, showing the former "Tower Inn."


The "Tower Inn" was obviously named after the Sudbury Tower shown in the picture below. The Tower being named after Simon Theobald of Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury 1375 to 1881.

It was evidently a rare Canterbury outlet for Ashford Breweries' Ales & Stout.

According to the book, "Images of Canterbury" by the Kent Mesenger Group 1997:- The pub actually adjoined an old square-shaped bastion from the city wall, which had been converted into a house. Later, the "Tower Inn" became a hairdresser's shop before being demolished in the 1960s.

I actually thought the building was still standing as shown in the Google image of 2009, below, but may be wrong.

In July 1377, following the death of Edward III in June, Sudbury crowned the new king, Richard II at Westminster Abbey, and in 1378 John Wycliffe appeared before him at Lambeth, but he only undertook proceedings against the reformer under great pressure.

In January 1380, Sudbury became Lord Chancellor of England, and the insurgent peasants regarded him as one of the principal authors of their woes. Having released John Ball from his prison at Maidstone, the Kentish insurgents attacked and damaged the archbishop's property at Canterbury and Lambeth; then, rushing into the Tower of London, they seized the archbishop himself. So unpopular was Sudbury that guards simply allowed the rebels through the gates.

Sudbury was dragged to Tower Hill and, on 14 June 1381, was beheaded. His body was afterwards buried in Canterbury Cathedral, though his head (after being taken down from London Bridge) is still kept at the church of St Gregory at Sudbury in Suffolk, which Sudbury had partly rebuilt. With his brother, John of Chertsey, he also founded a college in Sudbury; he also did some building at Canterbury.


Sudbury Tower

Above picture showing the Sudbury Tower. Date unknown.

Sudbury Tower today

Above showing the Tower today.


I have seen stated in Edward Wilmots book Inns of Canterbury, 1988, that William Todd changed the name of the "Plough" to the "Tower Inn." However, other information tells me the "Tower Inn" was called this as early as 1862, and the "Plough" a different address to this building, but the numbers have changed over the years, so I am not sure what to believe here at present.


South Eastern Gazette, 10 July, 1860.

Picking Pockets.

At the city petty sessions yesterday, a man named Morgan was charged with having stolen a pocket handkerchief, value 3d., from the pocket of Fredk. Smith. It appeared that both the prisoner and prosecutor were at the "Tower Inn" beer-house at twelve o’clock on Saturday night, when the offence was committed.

Prisoner was committed for trial.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 14 July, 1860.


A man named Morgan was charged with having stolen a pocket handkerchief, value 3d., from the pocket of Frederick Smith. It appeared that both the prisoner and prosecutor were at the "Tower inn" beer-house at twelve o'clock on Saturday night, when the offence was perpetrated. Prisoner was committed for trial.


South Eastern Gazette, 11 September, 1860.


There were nine applications for new licenses, as follow:—

Granted. Isaac Barlow, for the "Tower Inn," Pound-lane.

Elizabeth Martin, for the "Kentish Arms," sic Westgate.

Refused. William Todd, for the "Plough," Pound-lane.

Isaac Pierce, for the "Millers Arms," Pound-lane.

James Henry Robins, for the "Sovereign," Castle-street.

Richard Yeomans, for the "Steam Packet," North-lane.

John Sidney Hawkes, for the "Cannon Inn," Northgate sic.

Edward Yeomans, for the "Man of Kent."

John Gillis, for the "Fortune of War."

A billiard license was granted to William Dilnot Wildish, Parade. Possible "Brewery Tap."


From the Kentish Chronicle, 25 July, 1863.


A great deal of excitement was exhibited in the town on Monday last, to see the arrival of W. Mountjoy, who had matched himself to walk from Mr. Finn's, the “Tower Inn,” Canterbury, to the “Harp Tavern,” Ramsgate, and back, twice each day, making a distance of 68 miles a day, for six successive days, the backer of time laying the odds of 12 to 8. This is the same person who, when a youth, walked 40 miles a day for six successive days, from Canterbury to Ospringe and back, in December, 1844. The pedestrian started on his arduous task at 4 o’clock on Monday morning, and accomplished half the distance, 34 miles, including stoppages, in seven hours and twenty-five minutes; but, unfortunately for him, he was seized with cramp, and in spite of all his endeavours to shake it off he was compelled to relinquish the task on Tuesday, after going 34 miles. The backer of time has now bet 5 even, that Mountjoy does not accomplish 30 miles a day for four days. He started on Wednesday morning to Sarre and back and then to Ramsgate and back, making the distance 50 miles, and will have to go the same journey up to Saturday (this evening).


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette 17 June 1865.


Richard Lord, Having taken the above House, solicits a continuance of the patronage given to his predecessor, Mr. G. F. Finn.

Agent for Leney and Evenden's celebrated Ales.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 19 January, 1867. Price 1d.


At the City Police Court on Monday, an application was made for a new license to the “Tower Inn,” Pound Lane. Applicant stated that a previous landlord had left the premises, taking the license with him, and it was expected that he had gone abroad, since all communications addressed to him had been returned through the post. A new license was ordered to be prepared by the clerk.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 11 May, 1867. Price 1d.


Edward Austin was charged with selling half-a-pint of beer and a glass of gin without a license, in the "Tower Inn," on Saturday, the 16th of March.

Mr. B. M. Johnson deposed:- I am an excise officer, stationed at Canterbury. On Saturday, the 18th of March, I went to the “Tower Inn,” of which defendant is the landlord, and purchased half-a-pint of beer and a glass of gin. I paid a penny for the beer and four pence for the gin. Defendant was not in at the time, but came in soon after, when I told him I had purchased some beer and spirits, and that he held no license from the Excise to sell them. He said he would come to the Inland Revenue Office the next Monday morning, between nine and ten o'clock, but he has not been. He admitted that he was selling without a license.

The magistrates fined defendant, who did not appear, 12 10s.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 19 October 1867. Price 1d.


John Green alias Podger, was charged with stealing a copper, value 1 from the “Tower” on Thursday last.

George Finn, landlord of the "Sovereign,” Castle Street, said he was agent for the owner of the “Tower Inn," (Pound Lane), now unoccupied. On Thursday last Mr. Kelson came to his house with the key of the “Tower.” On the following Friday morning he went to the house with Mr. Kelson at eleven o'clock to see if the fixtures were alright, and they missed the copper produced, the value of which was 1. He immediately informed Sergeant Hayward of his loss.

Ellen Bridges, housekeeper at the “Tower Inn," said that on Wednesday last she left the house between nine and ten o'clock. The copper was there when she left. She gave the keys to Mr. Kelson, and asked him to lock up the house. The copper produced was the same one that used to be in the “Tower." The late tenant of the house had left Canterbury.

P.S. Hayward said that on Friday last he received information from Mr. Finn that a copper 'had been stolen from the “Tower Inn." He went to the "Tower” and examined the premises, and found that a pane of glass had been broken out of one of the front windows. A copper was also missing; and on making inquiries witness found that the defendant had got the copper at his house. He apprehended Green on Saturday, and told him he was charged with stealing a copper from the "Tower Inn." Green said “ Alright, I bought it.” Witness then took him to the station-house, where he admitted that he had sold the copper to a marine store dealer named Smith.

George Smith, marine store dealer, said that he saw the prisoner on Friday last, in St. Alphage. He asked witness if he would by it of him for 8s.; and he afterwards consented to gave him 7s. for the copper.

Cross-examined:— I went to defendant's house in the middle of the day. The copper was at the back of the house in the yard.

Mr. Delasaux, for the defendant, contended that there was no case against his client.

The Chairman said the Magistrates concurred with Mr. Delasaux; and defendant would be discharged.


From the Whitstable Times, 24 December, 1870.


On Tuesday evening T. T. Delasaux, Esq., coroner, presided over an inquest held at the “Tower Inn,” Pound Lane, on the body of Edward Wraight, an old man who been living in one of the cottages adjoining the river in St. Mildred’s, and who was found dead in the lower portion of the stream on Monday morning.

Inspector Andrews said he saw the body lying by the river at about eight o’clock on Monday morning near Mr. Cannon’s mill, and he identified it as that of Henry Wraight. A publican named Todd stated that he went to the river on Monday morning and found the body of the deceased in a part of the river where there was not much water. He was lying on his face.

John Sutton, innkeeper, of St. Mildred's said deceased lived near him. There was a closet at the end of the yard close to the river, between which there was only a low wall, and deceased evidently went there in the dark, and fell into the water, and floated down the stream. About six years ago he took deceased out of the water under similar circumstances.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death.”



BARLOW Isaac 1860-61+ (age 40 in 1861Census)

MARTIN G 1862+ Post Office Directory 1862

FINN G F Mr to June/1865

LORD Richard June/1865-67+

TODD William John 1871-91+ (age 41 in 1871Census)Post Office Directory 1874Kelly's 1882Post Office Directory 1882Historic Canterbury web sitePost Office Directory 1891 (also Marine store dealer and rag and bone dealer)

ROLFE Frederick J 1901+ (age 37 in 1901Census) Historic Canterbury web site

DALBY Edwin 1903+ Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903Historic Canterbury web site


Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874


Kelly's 1882From the Kelly's Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


Historic Canterbury web siteHistoric Canterbury web site


If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-